Part of the issue here may be the fact that once a relationship becomes "professional" in the strict sense of the word ($$ exchange), then there is a firmer set of expectations that must be fulfilled. I have done things for people who offered to pay me, but have refused payment because #1- I wanted my service to be accepted as a gift and #2- I did not want the additional responsibility of fulfilling expectations that were paid for.
To each, his or her own
BINGO! This really hit home with me 2b! I'm not going to share my whole personal history here for all but I will say this much... when I first made the decision to look for a disciplinarian, I was looking for an "alternative" to another form of "therapy" that was no longer available/working for me. At that time I wanted a professional. I wanted to pay. I wanted no mistake that this was not play, that I was serious and I expected the discipliarian to take the role and me seriously. So at that time, I was willing to pay the price so I could lift my expectations for a professional approach (i.e. confidentiallity etc).
Now, that said... here's what has happened for me in the past year when I moved on... I have been fortunate to find that I can get what I had and MORE for free from people that I would gladly pay ten times anything I paid before because they are all that good at what they do... So, the very best aren't necessarily only those that charge... and may not be at all... who knows... I think you probably have to judge for yourself! Although, to the extent that there is "serious need", there is skill required... and I mean skill beyond just swinging a paddle (although when that begins to be the case, then perhaps the implement should be put down and the spankee should be encouraged to pick up a phone... and perhaps a profesional of some sort somewhere should be paid?... but it even takes skill for a disciplinarian to recognize that!)... I'm fortunate to have the very most skilled in my corner because I have approached finding them seriously! And that's what everyone has to do for him or herself!